Don’t remind me that I have more years behind me than I can hope to have ahead of me. I am an inquiring mind. I write to share my curiosities and to tell the stories of my discoveries. I have an inclination to look as far as I can to the past. While so many of us are fully absorbed—rightly so—with planning for the future, for the unknown, for the next challenge, and for scrapbooking the life of our off-spring, I tell family histories that I hope would not remain buried under the weight of today’s preoccupations.
I try to write and share stories in a way that will capture a fleeting interest, cause a chuckle or raise an eyebrow, and that will ultimately leave a sense of connection and pride in the life and times of our ancestors. Some facts are interesting on their own accord, and I share them. But I also tell the stories of my search and my sources. I speculate on missing pieces, and I weave together my findings to show the spirit of the Howlands and other ancestral families.
Through the powers of social media, I have serendipitously connected with distant relatives who have greatly enriched my research. There are countless others of you “out there”, and I hope we can inform each other though our outreach.
During my career I repeated this mantra: “At the end of my life, I should not look back and wish I’d spent more time at the office”. And I must imagine, at the end of my life, I should not expect my beneficiaries to be particularly thrilled to inherit reams of family history charts! But I do have faith that some of them will be interested in these stories.

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